Entries are now open to producers across the island of Ireland for this year’s Blas na hEireann Irish Food Awards. The Awards, which are now in their 9th year, take place at the Dingle Food Festival in October. Last year, there were more than 2500 entries in what are the largest blind-tasted Food Awards on the island.
“These are what I call the People’s Awards. Our judging system is very rigorous. Our judges come from a range of food backgrounds; they are food scientists, chefs, restaurateurs, academics, journalists, authors, food champions, caterers and enthusiastic home cooks “said the Chairperson of the Irish Food Awards, Artie Clifford.
“Every product that carries a Finalist, Gold, Silver or Bronze sticker is picked up more quickly than those without. Our research has shown that the Blas accreditation has the highest recognition amongst Irish consumers and using the award logo on pack has made a significant difference to businesses.”
Una Fitzgibbon from Bord Bia said “The Blas na hEireann Awards represent a unique opportunity for food businesses to compete on the all-important delivery of superior taste for consumer benefit. Applicants benefit from a supportive and highly useful judging process and all winners gain with added value to profile, reputation and market positioning”
Two of last year’s winners were also at the launch at Bord Bia including Sharon Greene from the Wild Irish Foragers and Preservers who won Best New Product 2015 for their Honeysuckle Shrub. She said “Winning at Blas has helped us as Artisan Producers in so, so many ways from increasing sales to giving us that personal boost to keep on striving to achieve our goals”.
“To be presented with Best Food Start-Up at the beginning of the awards literally brought tears and provided a fuel needed to continue in the trying road of bringing product to market. The following day, to be awarded Gold for our Pistachio Caramel Popcorn, was a huge surprise and allowed a strengthening pride of product bubble” said Ruth Ormistion from Cornude Popcorn (AIB Best Start-Up).
Entries are open until June 17th. Early bird entries close on April 30th. Click here to enter online